Les façades enduites au plâtre d'Île-de-France. Le déclin du plâtre extérieur, du XVIIe au XXe siècle.

Abstract : Plaster of Paris’ notoriety exceeds France’s national borders, its use in moulding, sculpture, architectural ornaments in French artistic production built its reputation. Beyond plaster for moulding, gypsum plaster is one of the most used materials for building construction in the Paris area, and one the most obvious one. In fact, half of Paris ancient buildings and a large part of historical buildings in the region Ilede-France have facades covered with gypsum-based renders and ornaments. However, gypsum renders are still mistaken with lime or cement renders, people call them gypsum-and-lime renders and most of them are covered by thick layers of recent paints, making their observation difficult. Renders are often qualified as minor items in the construction field and are not studied much, while external gypsum plaster is still mostly ignored even though there is a renewal for this kind of materials thanks to wider studies on the uses of earth and lime. Gypsum renders, though, have historical and technical values, but are also aesthetically pleasing. Their rich ornamentation carves facades with lights and shadows, colors and textures. The skin of the buildings shapes the urban atmosphere.Our study will explore the rise and fall of external gypsum renders through the analysis of sixty buildings and one hundred facades which have been put into a database and a Geographical Information System (GIS). The studied facades have been built and rendered over three centuries, from the golden age of the seventeenth century to the loss of know-how in the second half of the twentieth century. The period of the industrial revolution is carefully analyzed as the industrial sector experienced drastic changes in the process of making plaster. This fieldwork is completed with historical research based upon the readings of construction treatises, newspapers, invention patents, building cost estimates and building experts’ statements from various centuries. The use of external gypsum renders is analyzed from 1667 until 1980, through the evolution of the extraction, production and execution processes as well as building conception. This report expresses how gypsum plaster was an essential material for construction and slowly became a fragile one, only good to use in decoration and internal works, as its legendary good quality deteriorated and local know-how disappeared.
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Tiffanie Le Dantec. Les façades enduites au plâtre d'Île-de-France. Le déclin du plâtre extérieur, du XVIIe au XXe siècle.. Art et histoire de l'art. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLV001⟩. ⟨tel-02067379⟩

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